Alright, the time has come to buy a crappy PC notebook that will last me for one year. Can the techie people help me understand what some of this stuff is?
And remember: I don't care about any bells and whistles. I simply want to take notes and exams, and check email. It would be better if it died completely after a year, because then I won't hear it from my parents about buying the Macbook I really want (I'm waiting for Leopard before buying).
Therefore, I am considering this guy: Compaq/HP V2000Z (I guess Compaq and HP merged at some point, huh?)
Here are the options I don't know what to get:
AMD Sempron(TM) 3100+ (1.8GHz/256KB L2 Cache)
AMD Sempron(TM) 3300+ (2.0GHz/128KB L2 Cache)
Significantly improves system performance
AMD Turion(TM) 64 ML-34 (1.8GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
Exceptional performance, power, and reliability
AMD Turion(TM) 64 ML-37 (2.0GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
Advanced performance and multitasking with most software applications
ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M
ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M w/productivity ports
256MB DDR SDRAM (1x256MB)
512MB DDR SDRAM (2x256MB)
512MB DDR SDRAM (1x512MB)
Boosts overall system performance! An empty slot leaves room to upgrade in the future!
1.0GB DDR SDRAM (2x512MB)
HP recommended for faster system performance when running multiple applications.
1.0GB DDR SDRAM (1x1024MB)
HP recommended for faster system performance when running multiple applications
40 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
60 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
80 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
80 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
A faster-spinning hard drive increases productivity
100 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
Stores more applications, music, games, photos, movies
120 GB 4200 RPM Hard Drive
Primary CD/DVD Drive
8X DVD Drive
FREE Upgrade from DVD to DVD/CD-RW Combo Drive!!
Watch DVD movies and make your own music CDs (most CDs hold about 80 minutes' of music or 700MB of data)
Super Multi 8X DVD+/-R/RW w/Double Layer Support
LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD+/-RW w/Double Layer
Label discs by burning silkscreen-quality graphics on them
Integrated 56K Modem + 10/100 Ethernet LAN
54g(TM) 802.11b/g WLAN w/ 125HSM/SpeedBooster(TM)
54g(TM) Integ. Broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN & Bluetooth
6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Extra 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Get two 6-cell batteries so that you'll always have a spare handy!
Extra 12 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Get two 12-cell batteries so that you'll always have enough power!
It's $600 as I configured it, plus $150 for Microsoft Office... can you get that cheaper through a school, do you think? And do you really need security software?
I would get the options that I underlined. I recommend a 64 bit processor to future proof yourself, and aside from that the cache is much bigger. The cache is where the computer stores information that is accessed frequently and you can improve performance ever so slightly by increasing that.
I don't know what the productivity ports do.
The importance of RAM is huge. I will not get any less than 1.5 GB in my computer, but if you plan to do primarily word processing you should be OK with 512 but I wouldn't go less than that. That being said, I would not get 2X256 because if you want to upgrade there is no way without taking out a stick and replacing it.
An 80 GB HD is not that big anymore, and 5400 RPM is the bare minimum I would get.
You may want a CD-RW drive to transfer data. Floppies are dead.
If you want wireless networking, you have to get a 802.11b/g card. You can add it via PCMCIA but it will be slower and more expensive. I recommend Bluetooth as well for newer wireless peripherals.
Battery, hmm...If you will be plugging in wherever you go, get the cheapest option. If not, you have to figure out what balance of capacity vs weight and price works for you.
I'll disagree because he wants it very simple and very cheap. The processor may be worth it, but probably not.
RAM, unless you buy more and install it yourself (this depends on how motivated and techie friendly you are) isn't worth upgrading (although I'd advise 1 GB RAM before the processor probably).
80 GB and the faster spinning is probably not worth it either, 60 GB should be fine unless you are downloading crazy movies etc. Even whole books online won't be much more than a few hundred MB.
I think either a 12-cell battery, or an extra 12-cell battery (a little more but it means you will have 2 batteries instead of one just in case) is probably worth it just in case your classroom doesn't have outlets, or you study on the go and don't have an outlet.